The important role of doubt when prototyping

María Lucía Villegas

María Lucía Villegas

Dec 27, 2021

2 min read.

To create a new business model is to embark on an unknown path and entrepreneurship is how we are going to do it. There are millions of solutions for a market's need, just as there are millions of segments for a product or millions of products for a segment, when it comes to entrepreneurship, the possibilities are the same: millions.

Taking this into account, it is also true that the ideal product to attract customers is the one in which the DNA of the company is reflected, this is important because it generates new sales and helps to a more agile customer loyalty throughout the pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase stages.

How can we make sure that the product is exactly what the target customer needs?

It is often easy to fall into the trap of focusing solely on the product or service we are going to offer without taking into account other factors that affect the viability of our business. While there is no single answer to this question, because the testing and feedback process for each company is different, what we do need to keep in mind is rule #1 when it comes to testing: doubt.

When we think we know our customer like the back of our hand or that we are clear about the environment in which we move, we forget that the human being is a being that is constantly changing and that the world as we see it today is different from how we will see it tomorrow, so we will never finish knowing our consumers.

The only thing to do is to constantly explore and re-evaluate our old hypotheses and in the process doubt everything we believe to be true.

When it comes to measuring the viability and getting feedback on a product or service, the best feedback you can get is from the customer himself. Therefore, it is useful to launch MVPs or Minimum Viable Products that satisfy latent needs without investing time and resources in developing the final product.

This allows improving the product as users interact with it, getting new perspectives and opinions, leading to more complete products, obtaining accurate data, or rethinking new hypotheses. Once the MVP is ready to be launched to the market, the first thing is to make sure that the hypothesis is still clear, that each person involved in the product testing process knows what need is being met.

The second step is to doubt the hypothesis, the solution, or the idea in general. Doubting means that all our beliefs must be open to change and only then can we make adjustments to the product that the customer really needs, even if it means compromising "absolute truths" that we thought were necessary. Only the customer will confirm that we are right.

Doubt will also prepare us to receive all kinds of feedback. Many times we become wedded to our ideas and in the process of validating, we can take negative feedback personally. If we make the exercise of doubting our work, we will be more open to any type of criticism or comment to apply it and bring to market a product that meets our business goals and the needs of our customers.

To doubt means to be open to new possibilities, to be aware that everything can be improved and it is the last impulse to really carry out actions that mean progress for the company. This is why it should be present in every step of your business model development, especially when prototyping your idea.

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